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Veto of Bill To Promote Former Prisoners of War in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

June 14, 1946

To the Senate:

I return herewith, without my approval, S. 1805, the purpose of which is to provide for the promotion of personnel of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard who were prisoners of war, without regard for the needs of the service, and with provisions for retroactive increases of pay and allowances.

In my opinion the measure is neither necessary nor in the national interest.

The Act does not include personnel of the Army and it is my considered belief that any such law should provide a common policy for prisoners of war of all of the armed forces of the United States.

The Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy entered into an agreement on March 31, 1945, establishing a common policy on this matter, giving special consideration to the promotion of returned prisoners of war of their respective services, with provisions for waiver of time in grade, position vacancy and billet requirements. By administrative action of the two Departments under existing law, such personnel have been or are now being promoted to the rank, grade, or rating and precedence which they presumably would have acquired had they not been captured.

The Act contemplates expenditure of large and indefinite sums of money by reason of its retroactive features relative to increases in pay and allowances. The number of personnel of the Army who were taken prisoners of war far exceeds the number of such personnel of the Navy, and if equal provision were made applicable to personnel of all the armed forces of the United States, there would be involved an expenditure of additional sums far in excess of those contemplated by the Act in its present form.

HARRY S. TRUMAN

Harry S. Truman, Veto of Bill To Promote Former Prisoners of War in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232247

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